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Hawaii does not tax qualifying distributions from an employer-funded pension plan. If you received qualifying distributions from an employer-funded profit sharing, defined contribution, or defined benefit plan, or from a government retirement system (e.g., federal civil service, military pension, state or county retirement system), the pension plan does not have to be a "qualified plan" as defined in section 401 of the Internal
Revenue Code. As long as the payment is from the state of CA then they can be excluded form income. If the plans were from a Private Employer then they would be subject to partial taxation (the amounts you contributed would be taxed).
On line 13 of the N11 you will enter the amount from the plans so they can be subtracted from taxation for Hawaii. The 401(k), 403(b), 457 and TSP distributions will be taxable as they are from deferred plans and you made the contributions from wages that were never taxed. The main difference being that the defined plans are from another state government.
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You are correct. The University is considered a government retirement system and so falls under the exclusion.
You are allowed to exclude the university payments from taxation in Hawaii just as if it had been the university of Hawaii.
The individual you spoke to was no correct in stating that you needed to prorate the payments. In fact I thought so too at first glance but after a second look at the way Hawaii excludes these it is clear that they are not taxable to the state.